Whittier, Cal.- One police officer was killed and another officer was wounded in a shoot out with a suspect Monday morning, according to NBC Los Angeles. The suspected shooter was also injured in the shooting.
“Officers respond to a call, and it seems like a simple traffic accident, and the next thing they know they’re in a gunfight,” said Lt. John Corina of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
NBC Los Angeles reports about 8 a.m., two male officers responded to a crash in Whittier in southern California, where a driver accused of a stealing a car had hit two other cars at a stop light. When the officers arrived, they were told by the victims that the driver who had struck them was around the corner.
The officers, who had not yet been identified, approached the suspected gunman’s car.
“When they get him out of the car, they go to pat him down for weapons, they can see he’s got tattoos all over his face and all over his neck,” Corina said at a news conference.
In the midst of a pat down, Corina said the man pulled out a gun and started shooting. The officers returned fire and wounded him.
Both officers were wearing bullet-proof vests, Corina said.
All three were rushed to the hospital, where one of the officers was pronounced dead. The other officer and the gunman were in stable condition.
The identity of the shooter had not been released, but deputies said he was a known gang member. He was described by Corina only as a 26-year-old man who had been paroled approximately 10 days before the shootout.
He was in the intensive care unit of the hospital, Corina said.
Aerial images showed the shattered driver side window of a Whittier police vehicle and a rifle on the trunk of another car.
Original report by NBC Los Angeles